Mayor Nakareke Benson spoke at the Buataritari Mwaneaba Opening

Nakareke3 October, Tebungiroro village, TUC – Mayor   Nakareke Benson, (pictured), spoke on behalf of his people, in thanking guests during the opening ceremony of the island mwaneaba, the “Bouateaina” built on a reclaimed area at the ‘Ananau Causeway’, now renamed ‘Tebongiroro’.

The mwaneaba was blessed y Bishop Paul Mea, and opened by the Taiwan Ambassador, H.E. Donald Lee, witnessed by hundreds of invited guests and members of the Butaritari community on Tarawa. The government was represented by several Cabinet Ministers, led by Hon. Maere Tekanene, Minister of Education. Members of Tengaruru KUC and Nikunau island, two communities that provided support to people from Butaritari, also attended.

The highlights of the function was the dancing that tells the history of the original Tebouateiana mwaneaba and the epic legendary fishing expeditions of Teeraka, performed by the rorobuaka and over a hundred singers, whose singing was dubbed by the Taiwanese Ambassador as “the most beautiful singing I have ever heard.” The Tengaruru women joined by performing the garlanding dance.

The opening marked the record-breaking work by the builders, led by the award-winning builder, Na Ukenio Taakea, which saw the completion of the biggest island mwaneaba, in just two weeks. The achievement was acknowledged by the Australian High Commissioner, George Fraser, when he called it an “achievement only possible when the community decides to come and work together for a common purpose.”

The name board, depicting the legend of Tebouateina mwaneaba, and the signs at the entrance gate, were painted by the internationally-renowned artist and poet, Teweiariki Teaero, as part of his free donations.


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